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How to Remove Unacceptable Yelp Reviews

I hear this question frequently from our clients and prospects; “How do we get rid of outrageous reviews that are lies, slander, defamation, or out of bounds with the guidelines of Yelp?” Answer? Submit a request for removal especially if the review isn’t compliant with the Yelp guidelines.

At least a third of the dealers I speak with come across bitter with just one mention of Yelp.  Some of them might be throwing down their own gavel as Yelp is back on court over alleged extortion and review manipulating. Angry Business Owners Appeal Yelp Ruling Over Alleged Extortion  

Yelp says “Inappropriate content: Colorful language and imagery is fine, but there's no need for threats, harassment, lewdness, hate speech, and other displays of bigotry.”

What is even more disturbing is when you engage a disgruntled Yelper (could be a competitor smearing) to resolve the issue and all you get is another visceral low blow or flat out silence. Reacting with an attack against the offender is natural, but I would advise dealers to step back, stop defending it, and consider a request for removal rather than engaging in a nasty verbal salsa with a bitter enemy. Search engines love the dirt and the more you respond to belligerence, the higher the debate will rank for your dealership name.

One of our clients once asked, “Can you help me get a Yelp review removed?” He shared his feelings of defeat; “The owner of the dealership has been personally attacked and it’s destroying our reputation and we’re losing business.”

I told him the review was ludicrous; falling within Yelp’s inappropriate content guideline and he didn’t have to tolerate it. Here’s the Yelp review that was on the web for only a month and did significant brand damage.

The Consumer Yelp Review

The removal submission to Yelp from our client

The "review" that XXX has left our dealership is not only extremely far from an accurate account of her attempted transaction, but is a blatantly published defamation of our dealership’s character and slander. We are a locally owned business for over 30 years and our owner, XXX, is a former recipient of the "XXXX" award. For "XXX" to name my salesperson and call him a "Racist Idiot" is nothing short of slander and is an embarrassment to my salesperson and his family and to YELP for allowing such verbal abuse to occur on your site. [Dealer Name] works extremely hard in encouraging our customers to leave reviews on sites such as YELP because of the relevancy and authenticity of your reviews. However, this particular review is neither authentic or relevant and most of all it is defamation and slander. XXX other reviews also need looked at. They are also racially motivated and distasteful. We ask that you please remove this immediately.

Response from Yelp within 24 hours


We have removed the review by XXXXX because it falls outside our Content Guidelines. Please keep in mind that if the user chooses to edit their review so that it falls within our guidelines, we will allow it to remain on the site.

Yelp User Support
San Francisco, California

Yelp Official Blog |
Yelp Frequently Asked Questions |
Yelp for Business Owners |

A huge victory for our client considering Yelp is not easily swayed in favor of the dealer. With dealers becoming more and more aware that Yelp dominates the mobile experience for iPhone users, now is the time to make the move to get content removed. If you’re not challenging defamatory reviews and instead, engaging in war, that’s like throwing cotton balls at a moving train.

If you’re wondering if filtered reviews on your Yelp listing are unjust and ludicrous, check out The Definitive Guide To Avoid the Yelp Review Filter

Yelp can help you submit your removal request

Jerry Hart

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Sometimes, social media seems to be integrated into every part of the day. But, are companies reaping rewards or return from the social-media campfire conversations?

That would be a NO.

There are plenty of conversations that power a business to stand out from the competition, but for many, deducing all the fodder into financial gain is not easy.

The number of small businesses that have increased their social-media budget has quadrupled, and 43 percent of small businesses now spend more than six hours each week dealing with social media.

In the near future, I’d hedge to bet businesses will discover that online reviews provide more conversation in fewer places, and reveal the invisible customer – the one that got away (and launched an online review assault against the company).

Our research suggests Facebook is not the first stop when people want to check out a business; they often go to review sites beforehand.

The Verification

My team at eReputationBUILDER recently did a study on two dealerships, one with high-end buyers and the other with mid to low-end buyers. We analyzed sentiment and patterns in both review growth and customer perception.

The two departments that benefited the most with this game changing insight into customer preference and behavior were operations and marketing.

Here are our findings: Despite differences in target markets (upper-middle incomes vs. middle to lower incomes), both dealerships experienced a growth in reviews. No matter how much or how little a person spent on a car or service repair, no matter regional differences, people still wrote reviews.

  • Negative encounters that led to bad reviews for both target markets all resulted in similar descriptions – rude service, dealership was a rip-off, sales team was dishonest, etc.
  • Positive encounters varied according to the target market. This led us to conclude the variables that drive customers to write negative sentiment are much more common than the variables that evoke positive feedback.

Group 1: High-end buyers

  • Features they looked for in their car
    • Options and customization
    • Elegant and classy look
    • Speed
    • Easy Handling
    • Advanced technology
    • Push-button parallel parking
  • Features they look for in a dealership
    • Waiting room amenities (Wi-Fi, free coffee, etc)
    • Detailing their car when it gets serviced
    • Financial Transparency
    • Polite, no stress salespeople
    • The Look of success, from the showroom to the people in it
  • Experiences that led to negative reviews
    • Bad amenities (e.g. no Wi-Fi in waiting area, etc)
    • No financial transparency in the buying process
    • Salesperson was rude and not appropriately dressed
    • Dealership was dirty or looked rundown
    • People were too aggressive to get the sale

Group 2: Mid to low-end buyers

  • Features they looked for
    • Mileage
    • Dependability
    • Car Safety features
    • Warranty
    • Access to manageable payments
    • Family friendly vehicles
    • Features they looked for in a dealership
      • No hassle financing
      • No co-signer required
      • Incentives
      • Different car options in their price range
      • Nice and friendly personnel
      • Family oriented
      • Experiences that lead to bad reviews
        • Bad customer service
        • Dealer not working with them to find the right price
        • Unnecessary delays in the sales process
        • Stressful rush to make the deal
        • High waiting times for service


Brand association was stronger for lower-mid car buyers, but upper-income buyers cared more about luxury features. Dealers can leverage this research by making changes internally and invest dollars in marketing and operations. Propelled from the customers voice, reviews are measurable and certifiable.

The lower to mid-market company should link the brand name with its amenities (e.g., "INSERT DEALERSHIP NAME offers..."), while the higher-end business should advertise the luxury attraction ("Vehicle comes with push button parallel parking”).

Online review sites are a game changer, no doubt. But they are the dark horses in this race, at least in terms of where businesses are currently putting the most focus. Companies need to use these reviews to better their business practices and improve satisfaction and acquisition. Listen to what your customers are saying; and refocus according to your target market. You are sure to reap the benefits.

Jerry Hart

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Along with a total revamp of Maps, Google has announced at I/O, the forum and their blog the return to a 5 star review system. You can request an invite to the new Maps here. From their blog post:

Users who opt-in to the new Google Maps will now rate businesses on a scale that ranges from one to five stars. The system maintains the precision of the former 30 point scale while improving the readability and accessibility of the business listings. Your customers will be able to find up-to-date, accurate information on your business faster than ever. As a business owner, you’ll notice that past ratings have been mapped to the five star system.

Here is how the new scores are now calculated:

poor/fair = 2 stars
good = 3 stars
very good = 4 stars
excellent = 5 stars

Some other notes from Google:

  • Users on legacy Maps, mobile (Android + iOS), Google+,, and other properties will continue to see 30 point ratings for several more weeks
    • If a user is opted into the New Google Maps and clicks on a “more reviews” they will be taken to a plus page where they will see the 5 star ratings
    • However, if the same user had just navigated to the page from they would see 30 point scale
    • Note that users just searching on not coming from New Google Maps will continue to see the old results.
  • Google will no longer be asking users to rate on specific dimensions/aspects. For example, for restaurants users will no longer rate the “food”, “decor” and “service”.
    • Google will show just one overall score (they used an algorithm to translate the food/decor/service scores into a blended overall score).

To the dismay of many, Google replaced the yellow stars with the Zagat system in May, 2012 when Google rolled Places pages into Plus. It was clear from August of last year that Google was testing a return to the 5 Star system and they were never removed from local AdWords display.

The current iteration of stars appear to be universally red and it seems that they will roll out to all properties over the next few months. The new “Places” results that were spotted earlier will apparently be the results seen when visited from the new Maps interface.

Original article from Mike Blumenthal

Jerry Hart
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Thanks to the crew at Digital Dealer for the opportunity to speak on Reputation Management at Digital Dealer.

Digital Dealer may have presumed Reputation Management would be the most sought after topic at the conference.  Ah-no.   I was shocked at standing room only in some sessions but not for the topic of reviews and reputation mgmt.

The lack of butts in seats for all rep mgmt sessions reveals many dealers simply view it and the truth of what is reputation best practice as a nice to have, not a have to have. 

I likened it to hearing your smoke detector go off in the middle of the night—and you get up and remove the battery! The irritating beeping sound stops, but the fire is still raging, and you're not addressing it!

The reputation industry scandals are the clue phones that are ringing with warnings. 

For instance, Forbes released news of “mug shot extortionists” who targeted a man who had gotten a DUI.

His arrest and mug shot quickly surfaced online and his wife received an email from a service provider letting her know that for a small fee, approximately $400, the service would get the posting and photo back down. Horrified of what the item might do to her business if it were seen by distributors, she quickly complied. Problem solved.

Then several weeks later the item appeared on a nearly identical site and she received an identical offer: Pay $400, and the new item could be removed from the web. By now my friend realized she was in an endless loop of extortion. But her initial $400 is gone, and for now, at least, the damaging item lives on.

Forbes also provided this news from a source in the U.K., who asked that they not be identified by name:

“I am aware of the extortion used by most of the biggest ORM firms out there, to name one, it is [redacted]. You will see a huge list of websites they claim they are able to remove bad reviews, reports, affair complaints and trade complaints from. Our team became aware of a scandal where we found that many of these sites have either been setup by the company themselves, or have created financial relationships with the owners of the sites to remove content when paid.”

“Most of the biggest [ORM] Online Reputation Management firms are involved in this kind of mafia extortion. A client of ours who refused to do business with [redacted, but a different company than the first] found a slew of negative listings about themselves appear online just a few weeks later. The company called again and remarked they ‘knew about them,’ offering our client a reduced contract of $25k a month to remove or demote the results.” “What a racket!” said Cheryl Conner, contributor for Forbes.

There isn’t any industry or person exempt from being attacked in this way, hence proactive review building and short circuiting complaints is now mandatory to survive as a business.  Many decision makers are unaware of the dangers of reactive reputation management, versus proactive reputation management, and that is a bit frightening. 

The search engines will shift algorithms again and Dealers Google scores will soar or hit the floor, based on using honest and unbiased steps to building reviews or manipulative means to publish reviews preferentially. 

The worst practices and the impact of unbiased and dishonest reputation mgmt practices have yet to hit a dealers bottom line. Meaning, dealers have been sold worst practices, veiled as best practices that in the short term can satisfy a dealers appetite to get reviews posted and manage  negative sentiment.  Fact is, a number of our new dealer clients stopped following what they thought were best practice, fatigued from low review response rates, the hemorrhaging of removed reviews or de-ranking penalties.

What about the Google slap in August that was symptomatic of not paying attention to best practices?  Perhaps Google was elusive and sent all of us mixed messages and failed to strongly sway dealers from setting up a review kiosk in the showroom. Regardless, that's not my point. My point is unbiased and honest review building has powerful meaning. 

What I want to know is...could the next Google slap have been avoided had dealers followed the Google rules of how to harvest honest and unbiased reviews in a non manipulative proactive process. For example, will Google slap dealers who use, in my opinion, a biased process where the dealer sends a feedback survey and IF the customer is satisfied, customers are sent an email to post a positive review?

The unpredictable giants; Google and Yelp.  Will they continue to throw down the reputation gavel and sentence dealers to review purgatory who do not pay them or fail to nudge the customer to post on yelp if they are a yelper [10 reviews or more] or on GLocal if an active Google-user? Will they say, we warned you, again!  Will penalties only apply to those whose violations are the most extreme; for example, allegedly hiring for reviews,like Samsung did recently. 

Please revisit the conflict of interest page from Google and define how you define honest and unbiased in terms of how you manage your reputation and build reviews or negate complaints.

Dealers with a biased or dishonest control of reviews may see a slow decay in their reputation scores and ranking.

Will dealer decision makers shift their consciousness to a more proactive understanding and do what Google says about honesty and unbiased review building, literally!  Perhaps, we humans are wired that way; we need a good slap to our reputation before we wake up to that beeping sound, and finally call the reputation fire department to put out the review destroying fire

Jerry Hart
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When have I seen 150 dealers and a dozen vendors in one room for 3 straight days so engaged?


Perhaps its Sean Bradley’s commitment to excellence and holding dealers accountable to walk away with action plans from a crowd of unusually focused [Internet Sales 20 Dallas] IS20 members.

Only a handful we’re checking cell phone messages while in session and when you attend the next IS20 you’ll know why; you’re captivated by the content where all the standard institutional auto conference rules and guidelines are smashed.

Instead you get a room full of all star experts and hungry to learn attendees who are captivated by their colleagues, speaking up when any one point or topic needed more explanation or would merit a rebut.

We can thank Sean for his highly conscious efforts to ringmaster a conference where the content was always relevant.  My opinion, IS20 attracts some of the most innovative in the biz, who crave the most up to date practical content that provides the highest return on money and time. 

IS20 is straight legit.

I spoke on a panel about the importance of online reputation. Based on the questions and comments I received from various dealerships, there are some looming problems in the area of managing internet reputation.

For example, Google says on their Conflict of interest page: reviews are only valuable when they are honest and unbiased.  Dealers who are not focused on organically building reviews, and that means anything other than evoking a review from hot links in an email that leads that customer directly to 3rd party review sites may compromise their Google ranking, score and lead to endless hemorrhaging of removed or filtered reviews. Don’t get me wrong; there are all kinds of traditional ways to gently nudge a customer to leave a review soon after leaving the dealership, i.e., handing them a request flyer with where and how to find your dealership review sites and/or instructions for customers who have a gmail or dealerrater account as to how to post a review.

From what I see with our dealer clients, Google has been very kind to dealers that only allow reviews posted from the customer’s I.P.  Yelp, different story. I couldn’t believe how much disdain I heard about Yelp from IS20 members.  Same ol’ complaint I’ve heard from hundreds of business owners; “I accrue lots of positive reviews and when I don’t advertise upon their request, our positive reviews are removed overnight and negative is all that remains.”  My suggestion; endure the pain of filtered reviews and diversify your portfolio of listing sites and offer customers other review sites to post reviews. If you’re comfortable with paying the ransom they indirectly hold dealers hostage to buy, then look forward to 5 fat stars.  Some we’re saying at IS20 the believability of the star rating system on Yelp is disingenuous. Yelp is highly ranked; on the other hand, we know Yellow Pages are the second largest review site behind Google.

If your reputation management strategy and process is not organic, you’re short term gain, if any, will be weak at best. For example, posting reviews on a dealer owned web page may paint a picture of a dealer in more control of their reputation and no longer hostage to the Google and Yelp review removing sledgehammer.  Sounds reasonable, but here’s the problem.  3rd party review sites will rank higher, particularly on mobile, than the dealers review web pages where content is controlled and future buyers can sense manipulation or an inauthentic amount of positive reviews and stars. I still haven’t found a dealer owned customer review page with negative feedback, let alone a negative review with a manager’s response to remedy the complaint. Negative feedback that is managed, influences prospects to trust you and is fuel that can flip a sour customer to a raving advocate who tells everyone they know.  

I applaud dealers who leverage negative and respond on the dealer’s site, however responding to negative on the 3rd party review sites, specifically Google would help lift you’re Google score much more than reviews on the dealer site.  

To the point of short circuiting negative complaints; why would you not capitalize on the moment you follow up via email, offering hot links direct to review sites like Google, and also welcome complaints from customers submitted to the Dealer. This protects your CSI, amongst a hundred other great things.

News Flash! I’m yet to see a disgruntled customer who submits an unsatisfied complaint that will also post on 3rd party sites. Why? They’ve voiced concern to the dealer and will give the dealer a chance to remedy the problem.

What worries me most are the looming problems for dealers, especially those who encourage customers to post an invaluable review on a web page other than Google or other highly ranked 3rd party review sites.  I have found very few customer dealer review web pages that rank on the 1st page of Google when a “dealers name” with the keyword “reviews” is queried.

Every day I hear all the antics dealers use to capture feedback.  One review building tactic that makes me cringe is allowing an outside reputation agency to collect customer feedback who then posts the reviews on behalf of the dealer from an I.P far from the dealership. Even if the agency is in town, the methodology is manipulative and not organic. If you’re not organic then don’t expect Google algorithms to give you the top ranking when your future customers are hunting for the best dealer using local search.

p.s go claim your top review listings before your competition does

Jerry Hart



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I’m sure some car buyers have the same skepticism trusting a dealers websites reviews like I do the Mayan Calendar. If I did then we both know the world is toast on December 21st.

I’ve heard some ORM vendors advise that the first step to increasing positive reviews is to capture your own customer reviews in a “testimonial spotlight” page on the dealership website. I’m pleased to see the wave of dealers requesting feedback in tandem with CSI requests and yet perplexed by the notion of a first step, directing them to the dealers testimony review page in the buying moment or after the purchase. I’m all for requesting reviews from the customers I.P after they leave the dealership, but posting on the dealerships site as the first step? Forget the first step logic for a moment and lets resonate in reality that customers will be suspect of any company’s site testimonials in the coming days to measure credibility. They already are.

For the dealers who spend all day everyday pushing customers to post reviews on the dealerships site, what happens when Google starts the slap claiming the reviews are not valid. The dealers are not a 3rd party review authority. Isn’t it Google’s power to make sure your found as the authority based on you being a more credible, honest, and candid source for both customers and search engines?

Yelp and Google are far more credible than a dealerships website.

Consumers know you can control the content on your site. The overall consumer sentiment senses that the dealer website does not have bulletproof credibility like peer-to-peer reviews do on 3rd party review sites.

Some dealerships are only populating positive reviews with 0 negative. This is hardly believable, and not aligned with what consumers will start demanding of dealerships in the future. The public demands and respects what their peers say about a dealer on highly ranked review sites much more than what is being said about the dealership on a dealer’s website.

My Uncle John’s opinion and review is be much more believable than any article I can read in the Wall Street Journal or a dealerships testimonial page on the dealer website. In a world where small is big, authority review sites, bloggers, relatives and friends are more influential than the American institution or media establishment or for the sake of this example, the dealership.

I also think most of us want less overlap between CSI requests and requests for reviews on 3rd party sites. I see firsthand how customers get befuddled considering which customer feedback mechanism to use and dealers thwarted by which ones we push.

Validated content is genuine, without manipulation

There’s no perfect answer to any of this, however, our statistics show customers are more likely to post the most authentic, honest, natural sounding review, once they get home or back to work. Bottom line is search engine algorithms are running bots and give higher ranking for validated content. Validated content is genuine, without manipulation and soon enough the public and Google will deem a review as valid when the review positions (filtered/unfiltered) cannot be bought to hide the bad and lift the good, that they are unchangeable from the inception and post live in real time.

Furthermore, one of the largest missed opportunities is the complaint. From my analytics, dealerships who welcome complaints from follow up communication are amazed at the uptick of unsatisfied customers and welcome the opportunity to understand underlying issues and then resolve. High class problem, right? The good news with follow up emails after the customer visit is you avert some of the most visceral slander that once online pretty much damages the dealers bottom-line.

It's a great time to look at partial automation of reputation building. Send a video email after the car sale or R.O. with what I call “organic drip” reputation review requests. This means a natural, day-by-day follow-up program with your customer after they make a purchase. Automating the process pulling from your DMS nightly, building reviews on review sites can work in tandem with your CSI survey requests whether you present a customer survey during or after the purchase.

Jerry Hart
Schedule a 5 minute
Demo of eReputationBUILDER

Ask a Question: jerry(at)erepbuilder(dot)com
For more information, visit

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After speaking with my peeps at Google here in the San Francisco Bay Area, a tsunami wave of reality is on its way to the auto industry shores.

If you want to use an IPad in the dealership to generate reviews, reconsider. Is that truly the more candid and truthful approach to building reviews? I’ve heard some instances where the sales rep is coaching the customer over their shoulder while the customer submits to a 3rd party review site from the IPad?

Google’s algorithms frown on customer reviews posted from the same IP day after day and consider this not “validated content”. Use an IPad from the same IP day after day and your SEO ranking will be compromised and consumer alerts potentially slapped temporarily on your 3rd party review accounts.

Their is a wave of consumer sentiment that will revolutionize dealership Online Reputation Management current practices. Here’s what I mean…

You want accurate reviews or validated content. Consumers are beginning to sniff out reviews that are veneer and fabricated and even worse, do not publish at the moment the consumer clicks to publish. I know I'm skeptical when my negative review is not published when I click submit. Validated means reviews on a 3rd party review site that are controlled by the consumer with no publishing delays or mediation time for the dealer to filter, alter or delete the reviews. For negative reviews we see that once posted, a manager response was later visible with the original consumer review unchanged.

The public has already begun shouting how a dealership in their community has manipulated the public and do not have their best interest at heart.  The majority of ORM tools today with the right sized payment of cash to the OEM, allow dealerships to manipulate and filter reviews. Essentially dealers are not being transparent and truthful when they delay, embellish, alter, filter, and delete reviews or simply not publish at the time the consumer clicked ‘submit’. 

When are America’s dealership decision makers going to face the brutal reality that the public will defeat the sly dishonesty of review practices used by dealers to protect the dealership interests, not the customer? The public is becoming more suspect and are onto the scent that the company that they wanted to buy from has manipulated the process of getting positive reviews and have altered their dissatisfaction with that respective brand.

Did we forget the stigma our industry faces with public perception of dealerships as crooks? Are we perpetuating the stigma of car dealers who bait and switch for profit propelling the stereotype that the auto industry is dishonest?

The Dealership Site Reviews
Consumers will not completely rule out a dealer site as not credible, perhaps only if all the testimonials and reviews are positive.  I’m just saying, some dealerships are only populating positive reviews with 0 negative. This is hardly believable, and extremely out of touch with what consumers will start demanding of dealerships they want to buy from in the future. The trend of consumer sentiment will continue to ostracize the dealers that project anything inauthentic. The public demands and respects what their peers say about a dealer much more than a dealer’s website review page or a review site that’s littered with manipulated reviews.

The same concept applies to the American media today.  Tomorrow at the Thanksgiving table, Uncle John’s opinion will be much more believable than any article I can read in the Wall Street Journal. In a world where small is big, respected bloggers, relatives and friends are more of an authority than the wavering media establishment.  In this analogy, the dealerships website is the Wall Street Journal.

When a consumer viral truth telling explosion online happens, expect a paradigm shift. Just like any other wave of consumers that force the hand of an industry to be honest and stop altering reviews to get a higher rating; this will be no different. 

As we prepare for the shift, are you building REAL reviews?  Is the customers IP the safest most SEO compliant place to ask for a review? Yes!.

Are you emailing a follow up message with options to either post positive or share their complaint directly with you?

Are you willing to ask the question everyday via email and then fix what's broken at the dealership?

Do you own deep down in your gut that the most powerful brand loyalty building tool is your response to negative whether one on one or on 3rd party review sites for all to see?

When a customer complains, isn't this benefiting the dealership to improve quality assurance AND securing employees that exceed expectations and over deliver? The winning sales performers will squeeze out slackers that think they can hide behind their half-'assed customer service.

You can't body block cranky customers from posting negative reviews or alter them. You have one special moment to intercept unsatisfied customers before days pass and they start banging on their keypad to diss your brand across the web. You can respond for all to see but why not stop it to fix it at the pass shortly after they made a visit to the dealer? Your customer survey is surely OK, but no where near how effective you could be with the option to have complaints heard by you first or in that very moment, if happy, a positive review published from the customers IP.

Start asking for feedback and encourage a customer to post a review from an automated organic drip” email following the customer purchase from the customers IP.  Will you ever know for sure all of the rules of ORM? Don't think so, but you can count on a review building conduit that deters manipulation and propels radical transparency.

Jerry Hart


Ask a Question: jerry(at)erepbuilder(dot)com
For more information, visit

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I asked General Managers and Internet/BDC Directors at Digital Dealer, why Online Reputation Management is on the front burner for 2013.

Response I wanted to hear more and did not:

Google’s algorithms are aggressively measuring the amount and authenticity of positive and negative reviews, impacting your overall SEO score with Google. Online reviews appear with every Google search.
I need a solution PRONTO!

Common Responses:

1) Our reputation is everything and my competition seems to be doing better in the online review internet game.

2) With Siri and Yelp in bed together the stakes are even higher to get moving.

3) I need a solution to generate more reviews on a regular basis and be proactive at catching unhappy customers before they post a poor review.

4) We don’t have a plan to get to the source of the problem of what’s going on that’s generating those bad reviews.


1) ORM algorithms will drastically affect your SEO rankings.

2) Businesses who want to win in the search results will encourage customers authentically to post fresh feedback to their preferred reviews sites on a regular basis.

3) ORM will shift the dealership’s operational culture in terms of the increased volume of handling unsatisfied customers by rectifying the situation with those affected, making certain that the customer service or product failings that generated them are fixed.

4) Dealerships with no online reviews or only negative may be losing valuable customers.
You have the option to automate ORM by pulling closed R.O’s and closed sales from the DMS.

5) Automated emails that offer options to post positive or complain directly to you is fully integrated, simplified and compliant with blacklisting rules.

6) Steer the Conversation and reply to negative posts and interact with reviewers to create a more positive brand image. You’re more believable when you make an effort to understand and respond to unhappy customers.

7) If your business has no online reviews or only has negative reviews, then you may be losing valuable customers.

eReputationBUILDER adds juice to your SEO ranking by making sure that the positive reviews and constructive feedback shows up when our clients are searched, and that the false and inflammatory comments are suppressed in searches so no one can find them.

We automate ORM, pulling closed R.O’s and closed sales from the DMS everynight sending a video email that encourages positive reviews with active links to highly ranked review sites and intercepts complaints. 

Jerry Hart

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Yelp's Kharma Police will be citing Dealerships

Some dealership decision makers may not be aware that Yelp has 78 million monthly visitors and Yelp is now Yelp'ing that 78 million visitors “can be a strong incentive for some businesses to try to game the system.”

I’ve heard first hand from dealerships the audacious truth of how they game Yelp, then wonder why they can’t get customer reviews published. Dealerships have been known to inflate their ratings with glowing testimonials submitted by friends and employees.

The stakes just went up again! They should. Up to 40% of online reviews are sketchy, according to experts.

The San Francisco-based website, which already tries to filter out dubious reviews, said it will now start posting visible consumer alerts on websites suspected of soliciting reviews-for-hire to boost ratings.

The alerts will stay up for at least 90 days – longer if the suspicious activity continues, according to Yelp.

Users, many of whom consider Yelp to be the last word on whether a business is worth visiting, can click on the alerts for more details.

Yelp also said it will start informing visitors when a business has a slew of reviews posted from the same computer – often a red flag for inauthentic reviews.

My suggestion? Integrate an online management solution that proactively builds "REAL" reviews and STOPS negative ones.

The one missing major takeaway from Yelp’s announcement is…

Review sites with too much negative feedback or dealerships not found on highly ranked review sites will be moved down the Google search stack and compromise their competitive advantage.

Even more reason to encourage customers to post positive feedback on highly ranked review sites from their computer and also make a gentle request to share directly to key internal contacts IF they are unsatisfied

Plus, leverage every customer touch point and follow up with communication incentivizing them to tell you directly they are unsatisfied or passively encourage posting positive feedback on review sites.

Eric Singley, vice president of the site’s consumer products and mobile division said because of Yelp’s clout, “some businesses will go to extreme lengths to bolster their reviews.”

Auto consumers seem addicted to peer review sites such as Yelp, Google Local, CarHelp, DealerRater and more. Good web reviews now weigh so heavily on spending decisions that satire group the Onion recently spoofed the phenomenon with an article titled “Brave Woman Enters Restaurant Without First Looking It Up Online.”

Jerry Hart

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Look at all the conversation online about you and your dealership. That point alone reiterates to all of us that dealerships don’t necessarily own their brand. The consumer owns the brand.  Monitoring online comments helps us understand the consumer perception of our brand and, if necessary, make changes to our communications efforts.

There are proactive measures that you should take BEFORE a negative review is posted about your dealership. Not only do you need to constantly encourage your customers to post positive reviews about the dealership, you need to ensure that each customer was completely satisfied with their experience.

The dealerships who proactively short circuits negative reviews and encourages positive reviews shortly after the customer visits the dealership won't have to worry down the road why they waited to long to come to us.

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It's only when it becomes a real issue and starts costing companies in lost sales and damaging their reputation do they normally come to us. It's much easier and cheaper if you come to us before issues arise, taking a preventive measure will help not only protect your brand but also stop unscrupulous competitors taking your space or even worse, getting negative content high up in the search results.

Make or Break time for dealerships

With the proliferation of user-generated content online, the online reputation of businesses are being tarnished by incorrect and misleading posts or comments that can stay on the Internet forever. One post by a disgruntled employee or unhappy customer can have a damaging effect on your company’s image, as well as sales.

The thing to keep in mind is that online reputation management is one of those things that works better if you implement it before you actually need it.

Did you know….
• 62% of consumers surveyed said they would change their mind after reading 1-3 negative reviews about a product or service.***

• Dealerships are expected to spend $100 million on tech tools or platforms to monitor customer opinions on the Web over the next year, more than double the spending in the past 12 months, according to BIA/Kelsey, a Chantilly, Va., media-research firm.

• YELP! About 27 million user-generated reviews were posted on the site between January and March, up 59% from the same period a year earlier, according to Yelp’s most recent quarterly report.

• Google says on its official blog that businesses can reduce the visibility of negative content about them by “proactively publishing useful, positive information.”

By Jerry Hart

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